The current Burial Ground in Fairford (New Burial Ground) was opened in 1979 and is run and maintained by Fairford Town Council. This Burial Ground is now getting close to capacity and a further site is needed. Fairford Town Council does not have to provide a facility, but can pass the responsibility on to Cotswold District Council. However, if CDC took the matter on, the next Burial Ground would not necessarily be located in Fairford.
In researching possible sites for future burials, it was discovered that the areas of Churchyard to the north of the Church (North section) and north west of the Church (Garden section) were opened by the Secretary of State and thus cannot be formally ‘Closed’. Agreement has been reached between Fairford Town Council and St Mary’s Parochial Church Council, that when the New Burial Ground is full, the Garden section will be re-opened for burials. There are approx 80 burial spaces available in the Garden section, as this area was not completely filled before the opening of the New Burial Ground. The North section of the Churchyard is not be used for further burials to retain the current setting for St Mary’s Church.
It is anticipated that burials can now be accomodated within the vicinity of St Mary’s Church for the approx the next 15 years. The Town Council has however, continued to assess further plots of land to ensure a longer term commitment to provide burial facilities for Fairford. It was thought that the most suitable location would be a field off Mill Lane as it iwould be within sight of St Mary’s Church. Unfortunately this area is within the Ground Water Protection Zone and would need an excessive amount of hydrologocal investigation which made the location too expensive to proceed.
A further assessment was carried out on possible land outside this Protection Zone and agreement has been reached regarding a piece of land at the junction of Hatherop Lane and A417, known as Redbarn Ground. The land is owned by the Ernest Cook Trust (ECT) and it has been agreed that when the need arises, ECT will sell this piece of land to the Town Council for the purpose of providing a burial ground.